Carswell Rush Berlin, Inc - American Classical Furniture
Private dealer in New York City specializing exclusively in top quality antique American furniture of the first 40 years of the 19th century

American classical furniture incorporates Empire and French Restauration styles of which Duncan Phyfe was an leading designer

Carswell Rush Berlin antique furniture home page furniture_off.gif (888 bytes) about Carswell Rush Berlin's dealing philosophy and background schedule of antique fairs participations
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Gallery Statement

About Carswell Rush Berlin

A very fine Sheraton bureauCarswell Rush Berlin, Inc. is a private antique furniture dealer in New York City specializing exclusively in top quality American formal furniture and decorative accessories of the first forty years of the 19th century, referred to as the classical period.

The first classical revival since the Renaissance, profoundly influencing European art, architecture and all the decorative and applied arts beginning in the 2nd quarter of the 18th century, began to effect American furniture design in the same years that the United States was becoming a nation, hence the terms "Federal" and "Classical" furniture. It was this taste for designs inspired by ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, as translated from English and French furniture design directories and pattern books by American cabinetmakers, which created the longest lived, most popular, most influential and, arguably, the most important period of American creativity and craftsmanship in our furniture making history.

Duncan Phyfe sleigh bedThe mission of Carswell Rush Berlin is to bring to the market important high-style examples from this classical period of Adam, Directoire, Empire and French Restauration furniture made in America's leading fashion and furniture-making centers, Salem, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore in the years 1800-1840. We focus on pieces ordered from the greatest designers and cabinetmakers by the wealthiest strata of American society of the period.

The firm's approach is highly selective, only buying for inventory examples that meet a high standard of design excellence, craftsmanship, quality of materials, original condition and rarity.

We are continually seeking to buy period examples of every form that meet these standards and welcome photographs sent by mail.

Each piece is extensively researched with the description supplied in writing. We offer to our clients an unconditional guarantee that each piece is as described.

Mr. Berlin grew up in a home steeped in American decorative arts and surrounded by fine examples of 18th century American furniture, his father having been a passionate collector. He became enthralled with the classical aesthetic of the early 19th century over twenty years ago, and is now considered one of the country's leading dealers in this period.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements:

I will offer two slide lectures sponsored by the American Decorative Arts Forum of Northern California, Sunday, May 10, 2015, at the de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco's Legion of Honor building.   The lectures are titled: "'Solid and Permanent Grandeur:' The Design Roots of American Classical Furniture and Decorative Arts,"  and "'A Shadow of a Magnitude:' The Furniture of Thomas Cook and Richard Parkin, Philadelphia Cabinetmakers of the Classical Period."  The lectures will be in thein the Florence Gould Theater. Solid and Permanent will begin at 11:00 am and Cook and Parkin at 2:00 pm.

Additional details can be found at:

Recent Speaking Engagements:

Winterthur Furniture Forum, Winterthur, Delaware, Friday, March 7, 2014, 2:30 pm.,  "A Shadow of a Magnitude: Thomas Cook & Richard Parkin, Philadelphia Cabinetmakers of the Classical Period",,  

Bartow-Pell Mansion, 895 Shore Road, Pelham Bay Park, Bronx, NY., Thursday, October 2, 2014, 7:30 pm, "Solid and Permanent Grandeur: The Roots of American Classical Furniture,.

Other Notable Accomplishments:

He has lectured at New York University's School of Continuing Education where he is an adjunct professor. Mr. Berlin offers a course at NYU each Spring on early 19th century American furniture. He has lectured at the Parsons School of Design in New York, the prestigious Williamsburg Forum, the Detroit Institute of Art, The Saint Louis Museum of Art, Boscobel and the symposium on American Classical Furniture at the Yale University Art Gallery.

His furniture has been featured in The Magazine ANTIQUES, Architectural Digest, House & Garden, Art & Auction, and Veranda Magazine. Several pieces are highlighted in a February 2, 2011 article entitled "Lifestyle: A Rare Opportunity for a Residence" published by Antiques & Fine Art Magazine and; from the 11th Anniversary issue, vol. X, no. 6. Read the article online.

He has a recently published article: "'A Shadow of a Magnitude:' The Furniture of Thomas Cook and Richard Parkin,American Furniture, (Chipstone Foundation, University Press of New England , 2013).

An essay entitled "Solid and Permanent Grandeur: The Design Roots of American Classical Furniture" is featured in the show catalogue for the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show in NYC, October 18th-24th, 2002. Read the article online. His article "An Important Rosewood and Cast-Iron Gueridon Attributed to Duncan Phyfe" was published in The Magazine ANTIQUES, May 2000 issue (Vol. CLVII, NO. 5) pages 770-777. Mr. Berlin's article "Classical Furniture in Federal Philadelphia" was published in Antiques & Fine Art Magazine, Spring 2007 vol. VII, Issue 5, p.192-199. Read the article online.

He is also writing a comprehensive guide to formal American furniture of the first half of the 19th century.

Mr. Berlin serves on the Board of Trustees of The Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages, (formerly The Museums at Stony Brook) (NY) and Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum He is a member of the prestigious National Antiques and Art Dealers Association of America (NAADAA) and the Antique Dealers Association of America (ADA). A graduate of Kenyon College, he founded Carswell Rush Berlin, Inc. in 1992 to serve museums and collectors. Mr. Berlin has also been designated as a USPAP certified appraiser by the Appraisers Association of America. The firm's clients include:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY)
Museum of Fine Arts , Boston (MA)
Colonial Williamsburg (Va)
The Columbus Museum (Ga)
The Governor's Mansion of the State of Texas (Austin)
Peabody Essex Museum (Ma)
Museum of Fine Art/Houston (Tx)
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Va)
The White House (DC)
Detroit Institute of Art (MI)
RISD Museum
The Brooklyn Museum (NYC)
Gracie Mansion (NYC)
Winterthur Museum (DE)
James Madison's Montpelier (VA.)
Classical American Homes Preservation Trust (NYC)
DAR Museum (D.C.)
The Ohio Statehouse Museum

Our inventory may also be viewed on and 1st Dibs:

While always welcome to visit our private gallery by appointment, Carswell Rush Berlin also exhibits at top antiques shows throughout the country, including:

An example of one of our exhibitions of fine American antique furniture at the Winter Antiques Show at the New York Armoury

Winter Antiques Show

Park Avenue Armory,
Park Avenue at 67th Street,
New York City
January 23-February 1, 2015